HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Old Man's War by John Scalzi
Loading...

Old Man's War (original 2004; edition 2007)

by John Scalzi

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,5002191,080 (4.1)1 / 310
Member:jasonlf
Title:Old Man's War
Authors:John Scalzi
Info:Tor Science Fiction (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, novel, science fiction

Work details

Old Man's War by John Scalzi (2004)

  1. 152
    Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (goodiegoodie, jlynno84)
  2. 143
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (ohdio, jlynno84)
    ohdio: This book contains a lot of action, while still maintaining a nice human element.
  3. 100
    The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (JulesJones)
    JulesJones: Two books which examine in different ways what happens to the recruits in an interstellar war who by the very nature of their service can never go back to their home culture.
  4. 80
    Young Miles by Lois McMaster Bujold (jlynno84)
  5. 30
    The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Karlstar)
    Karlstar: John Scalzi introduces the universe of the Colonial Union in this book. Similar in feel to Starship Troopers, in many ways.
  6. 20
    Dauntless by Jack Campbell (goodiegoodie, BruderBane)
  7. 31
    Armor by John Steakley (goodiegoodie)
  8. 10
    Future War by Jack Dann (one-horse.library)
    one-horse.library: An anthology of stories in this vein.
  9. 10
    Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein (JulesJones)
    JulesJones: The obvious Heinlein influence on Scalzi's "Old Man's War" is "Starship Troopers", but this also covers some of the same ground as Heinlein's YA "Space Cadet".
  10. 10
    Containment by Christian Cantrell (freddlerabbit)
  11. 00
    Expendable by James Alan Gardner (PhoenixFalls)
  12. 00
    Cobra by Timothy Zahn (PhoenixFalls)
  13. 00
    47 Echo by Shawn Kupfer (tottman)
    tottman: 47 Echo lacks the depth (and the universe-spanning scope) of Old Man's War, but the story and the fighting are both quite enjoyable. I won't say it's nearly as good as Old Man's War, but it is a quick, fun enjoyable read. And there's a lot of potential from this author I hope to see come out in future books.… (more)
  14. 00
    Grease Monkey by Tim Eldred (goodiegoodie)
  15. 00
    Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell (tcgardner)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (214)  Croatian (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (219)
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
Old Man’s War

First Impressions: An old man joins the Colonial Defense Forces, a secretive organization with technology above and beyond Man on Earth. Most people who reach their 75th birthday want to be rejuvenated, or so they think.

John Perry laments the passing of his wife and with nothing to live for decides to activate his CDF contract. Scalzi paints a heartwarming picture of husband and wife (now deceased) and cutting off forever a former life for the future.

We’re led by the author to believe there’s a rejuvenation technique but that’s not it at all. You get a new body cloned from your old one and you’re off to fight a war of expansion with Man against alien.
Scalzi treads heavily on the horrors of war, the purpose of it, and the morality. As Perry stomps on a planet of aliens one-inch tall, he realizes the horror of what he’s doing. His command says to not worry, everyone goes through tghat. Really?

Enjoyed what the Ghost Brigades were, how this affected his deceased wife June, and what follows is amazing.

Especially loved the “Old Farts Club” and how they would stick it out through thick and thin. Well, they almost made it.

Very enjoyable first book. Can’t wait for more.

( )
  jmourgos | Sep 12, 2014 |
I read Old Man's War after I recommended Scalzi's Redshirts to a friend, and she, in turn, recommended Old Man's War to me.

Scalzi makes science fiction fun. In this, John Perry, a 75 year old man, joins the military, where he is transported off Earth to fight for humanity in the in the Colonial Defense Force. Why do they want old people in the military? What kinds of battles will they be fighting? Perry narrates. He has a good sense of humor and a sarcastic manner, which make his telling all the more fun.

A fun read! ( )
  lisalangford | Sep 12, 2014 |
Multiple friends have read this book and loved it, and of course I found the idea intriguing, who wouldn’t? So when a friend offered to loan me his copy, I took him up on it right away. I was not disappointed in the world Scalzi has created, it is endlessly fascinating, but the main character’s arc failed to be quite so interesting to me.

I can’t imagine how anyone would not find the basic premise of this book interesting. Outer space colonies that are kept a mystery from Earth. Only certain countries allowed to colonize (primarily those suffering from population overload). Top it off with a colonial army made entirely up of old people who supposedly get to be young again? Completely. Fascinating. And Scalzi really comes through on the science of all of this, the politics, and manages to have some surprises in there, in spite of the what seems to be very straight-forward book summary. And the world beyond the soldiers and the colonists is utterly fascinating as well. The aliens are incredibly creatively imagined, not just in their looks but in their cultures. They feel real. And that extends to the battles and spaceships as well. The worldbuilding here is phenomenal. It is an example of how scifi worlds should be built.

The main character, though, as well as his character development arc, fail to live up to the incredible worldbuilding. John Perry, from early on, is talented at war, in spite of having only been an advertising slogan writer for his whole life. He has no real life experience that would make one think he would be good at war. Additionally, even when he is doing battle, he’s kind of flat on the page. He doesn’t jump off as the leader he supposedly is supposed to naturally be. Other characters feel that way, but not John. In fact, I frequently found myself far more interested in the secondary characters around John than in John himself. I was willing to give this a bit of a pass since, well, the character has to live for us to continue to see the wars he’s fighting, and maybe Scalzi has a thing for unlikely heroes. But his character arc takes an odd turn at the end that really bothered me.


John meets a special forces woman who is in his dead wife’s body. Basically, his dead wife’s DNA was used as a base to build a genetically enhanced body. Ok, I’m fine with that, even if it seems unnecessary. But then John becomes obsessed with her, and she with him, even though she is very clearly NOT his wife. Then at the end, he asks her to move to a colonial farm with him when they retire. And she says yes. Whaaaaat?! This isn’t romance; this is gross! The special forces woman has as much in common with John’s wife as her sister would at this point, since they have messed with the DNA so much. This is like John pursuing his dead wife’s sister, who is emotionally only 6, since she was put into a fully adult body 6 years ago and had no life prior to that. It’s gross. It is not romantic. And I really think the reader is supposed to see it as romantic, when instead it squicked me out far more than any of the aliens in the book, including the ones with slimy appendages or the ones who eat humans.


Overall, this is an utterly fascinating scifi world with a bit of a ho-hum main character. The ending may disappoint some readers, and Scalzi’s politics can come through a bit obviously sometimes. However, those at all intrigued by the plot summary or interested in high quality scifi world building should check it out.

Check out my full review: http://wp.me/pp7vL-19J ( )
  gaialover | Sep 12, 2014 |
I was a bit doubtful at first; it was pretty boring and uninteresting and the characters were just... well, boring and uninteresting. The science fiction wasn't interesting enough to give me much hope. But it wasn't long before it started to get much more interesting. Once it got past being "typical war typical soldiery people doing typical soldiery things in typical war" it was great. Basically, once there was an actual plot. Things got very interesting once Coral came into play. I honestly didn't put the book down once I got to that point, because it just became so INTERESTING. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Sep 3, 2014 |
This was a fast-paced, interesting, space opera. I really liked the book's premise of joining the interstellar army at age 75 with all the life experience the new soldiers bring to the table. ( )
  ladyoflorien | Aug 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chong, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dufris, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayden, Patrick NielsenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To Regan Avery, first reader extraordinaire, And always to Kristine and Athena.
First words
I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday.
Quotations
There has never been a military in the entire history of the human race that has gone to war equipped with more than the least that it needs to fight its enemy. War is expensive. It costs money and it costs lives and no civilization has an infinite amount of either. So when you fight, you conserve. You use and equip only as much as you have to, never more.
The reason we use force...is that force is the easiest thing to use. It's fast, it's straightforward, and compared to the complexities of diplomacy, it's simple. You either hold a piece of land or you don't. As opposed to diplomacy, which is intellectually a much more difficult enterprise.


. . . "There has never been a military in the entire history of the human race that has gone to war equipped with more than the least that it needs to fight its enemy. War is expensive. It costs money and it costs lives and no civilization has an infinite amount of either. So when you fight, you conserve. You use and equip only as much as you have to, never more."

He stared at us grimly. "Is any of this getting through? Do any of you understand what I'm trying to tell you? You don't have these shiny new bodies and pretty new weapons because we want to give you an unfair advantage. You have these bodies and weapons because they are the absolute minimum that will allow you to fight and survive out there. We don't want to give you these bodies, you dipshits. It's just that if we didn't, the human race would already be extinct."

Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765348276, Mass Market Paperback)

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.
 
The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce--and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
 
Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.
 
John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine--and what he will become is far stranger.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master."--"Publishers Weekly," starred review. A Hugo Award finalist.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 avail.
226 wanted
4 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.1)
0.5
1 9
1.5 6
2 39
2.5 19
3 209
3.5 97
4 673
4.5 134
5 510

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,649,635 books! | Top bar: Always visible